Mum explains easy ‘centuries old tip’ to make family meals much cheaper

Lorna Cooper has urged struggling families to bulk out their meals in a new post on the “Feed your family for about £ 20 a week” Facebook page

Lorna Cooper is the author of ‘Feed Your Family For £ 20 a Week’

A mum-of-five and budgeting expert has reminded shoppers of a centuries old tip for reducing the cost of meals.

Lorna Cooper, 45, has urged struggling families to bulk out their meals in a new post on the “Feed Your Family For About £ 20 a Week” Facebook page.

The money-savvy mum, from Paisley near Glasgow, explained how meat is often the most expensive part of a meal.

So instead, she recommended filling your dinner out with lentils, chickpeas, beans, barley and oats to make the dish stretch further, reports Manchester Evening News.

Lorna, who is also the author behind the “Feed Your Family For £ 20 a Week” book, explained how the same practice of bulking out is used with Yorkshire puddings and dumplings.

Lorna recommended bulking out meals


Daily Record)

Lorna has also launched her own website


Paisley Daily Express)

“We often tell people to bulk out meat meals,” said Lorna, who is mum to three and stepmum to another two children.

“The reasons for this is that meat is often the most expensive aspect of the meal.

“Another is that we do not actually need the huge portions of meat that many of us enjoy and by reducing the portion we reduce the price.

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“It’s not a new phenomenon. Yorkshire puddings are used to fill up people so they eat less meat, same with dumplings and stuffing.

“Breadcrumbs are used in sausages, meat balls and meat loaf to reduce the meat content. Lentils, chickpeas, beans, barley and oats are used for the same reasons.

“It’s a tip that has been used for centuries. If you do not want to do it we will not force you.

“But if you are meat eaters who want to reduce the cost of your weekly shop then it is a very quick and easy way to do it.”

Followers of savvy Lorna praised the idea, with many saying they had already given it a whirl.

“Bulked my spaghetti ball with peppers and mushrooms. I actually preferred it,” said one.

“I’ve just halved the amount of meat we have in things with mince and chicken and make it up up lentils and pulses,” said another. “It definitely helps save money and its not hurting the waistline either.”

One follower asked whether the family would notice a difference in taste from adding a tin of lentils to cottage pie or spaghetti bolognese.

While some said it made no difference, others offered their own tips.

“Use dried red lentils rather than green or tinned would be my advice,” said one.

“They’re cheaper and a better color match for camouflage, but more importantly they smush down beautifully into the sauce.

Start off with a small amount and gradually increase each time you make that dish. Just make sure they’s well broken down and you should get away with it. “

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